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New Mexico Attractions / Landmarks / Places > Albuquerque Email This Bookmark Print
Albuquerque's Madonna of the Trail is one of a series of 12 monuments dedicated to the spirit of pioneer women in the United States. These monuments were intended to provide a symbol of the courage and faith of the women whose strength and love aided so greatly in conquering the wilderness and establishing permanent homes.

The monuments were commissioned by the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution and were placed along the National Old Trails Road that extended from Bethesda, Maryland, to Upland, California, in each of the 12 states the road passed through.

Measuring 10-foot tall and 5 tons in weight, all the statues depict a woman in a long dress and bonnet, with a stony, pinkish face. They all carry an infant in one arm and a rifle in the other. Some statues also have a pioneer dad in a horse as well. All of these monuments face west.

The statues feature a pioneer woman clasping a baby with her left arm while clutching a rifle with her right. Her young son clings to her skirts. The figure stands ten feet high with a weight of five tons. The figure and the base are made of algonite stone (a poured mass) of which Missouri granite is used as the main aggregate, thus giving the monument a warm, pink shade. With the base, the monuments are about 18 feet (5.5 m) high. The inscriptions on the east and west sides of each base are the same, but the north and south sides of each monument usually include local information as well.
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